The World’s largest triathlon hits Chicago in August with athletes from around the world and Chicago’s own backyard set to compete. Even if you’re not going to participate in this epic test of biking, running and swimming, it’s a good time to hop in the pool to shape up. Below are some tips from the NBC Fitness Coaches for better swimming or shaping in the water.
Andrea Metcalf - Author Naked Fitness, Better TV Fitness Expert
The length of your swim stroke has a big effect on your swim speed. If you’d like to get faster, “Total Immersion” is a great guide to understanding how. Try these exercises to lengthen your reach in the water:
Resistance flies with straight arms: Secure a piece of tubing either on the pool deck or in the water and perform 15-20 repetitions of straight arm pulls in both directions: 1. Facing the tubing, pull down and behind using the lats and triceps. 2. Facing away from the secured tubing and pulling toward the chest with hands coming together. Use full range of motion in both patterns and perform 2-3 sets. This will help extend your stroke.
For a simple core exercise, hop in the water bring your knees toward your chest and extend your legs to the front. Create some momentum by kicking your legs behind and reach arms forward to float on your belly. Repeat this front to back movement for 2-3 minutes or approximately 30 repetitions.
For triceps jumps, place your hands on the deck of the pool. Water should be no deeper than chest. Using your legs and arms push up to a straight arm position and hold for a moment letting your legs hang in the water. Lower back to water and repeat. Perform for 2-3 minutes or 30 repetitions.
Sergio Rojas, Redefined Fitness
There are some great exercise to help improve your swimming that mimic the mechanics of moving through the water. A plank position works on the core and shoulders just like swimming. Here are two great plank moves for you.
Plank Rotations: Start in a plank position with feet slightly apart. Turn the waistlines then reach arm towards the sky. Hold for 2-3 counts and return to center. Repeat to the other side and perform alternating sides for 1-2 minutes or 20-30 repetitions.
Focus: Shoulders, core and rotator cuff muscles.
Plank with Reach: Start in a plank position and keep hips squared to the ground. Reach right arm forward and left leg lifted to the back. Hold the position for 10-30 seconds and then return to plank. Change sides and repeat 8-10 repetitions.
Focus: Shoulders, core, lower back muscles.
Saran Dunmore, MTV trainer “I Used to be Fat”
Here are my two exercises to tone up on deck before you jump in the pool. They focus on the upper body and core working together to help improve stroke rate in swimming or just shape those shoulders.
Scarecrow: Start in forward bending position with light weights or tubing. Hands with be over elbows in bent. Slowly rotate from the shoulder joint up towards the sky to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles and rear delts. Perform 12-15 repetitions and repeat. Keep the arms in line with the body and shoulders relaxed.
Dumbbell Pullovers: Start on your back, knees bent, with a heavy weight in both hands. Keep rib cage still and lower back pressed into the floor as you lower the weight over your head with bent arms. You should feel this in your lats and just under your rib cage. Return the weight back over your face extended toward the ceiling. Perform 20-30 repetitions in a slow controlled fashion.